24 Days and 24 Foods. What would you choose in an emergency?

Avatar Gaye Levy  |  Updated: December 16, 2020
24 Days and 24 Foods. What would you choose in an emergency?

2011-10-30 food storageLet us play a bit of make believe.  You know in advance that you are going to be sheltered in place for 24 days.  Luckily, you will be safe in your own home and drinking water will be plentiful.  Power for cooking will be available but alas, there will be no refrigeration.  Also, you must use the pantry supplies on hand because you can not leave and run to the supermarket.  Besides, the supermarket will be closed.

Did I mention that you are only allowed to have 24 different items in your pantry?

24 Days and 24 Foods

You have 24 days in which you must fend for yourself and you are only allowed 24 items in your pantry.  What would you choose?  I thought long and hard about this and here are my choices, in no particular order.

  1. Chicken Broth
  2. Canned Chicken
  3. Dried Spaghetti
  4. White Rice
  5. Freeze Dried Ground Beef
  6. Canned Salsa
  7. Canned Tomatoes
  8. Dried Beans
  9. Canned Corn
  10. Peanut Butter
  11. Oatmeal
  12. Flour
  13. Sugar
  14. Yeast
  15. Canola or Olive Oil
  16. Salt
  17. Instant Coffee
  18. Freeze Dried Mixed Vegetables
  19. Powdered Milk
  20. Trail Mix
  21. Canned Butter
  22. Honey
  23. Nonni’s Biscotti
  24. Kashi Energy and Protein Bars
  25. Spice Packets (Chili, Garlic, Pepper, Oregano)

What would I do with these foods?  To begin with, I would make spaghetti with meat sauce, chicken soup, a robust chili, warm oatmeal with fruits, and the pièce de résistance, fresh, homemade bread with butter.

Some of the items are indulgences such as the Kashi Bars and the Biscotti’s (which, by the way, stay fresh for two years or longer).  But all in all, for 24 days myself and my family would eat well as long as I included some kibble for Tucker the Dog.

How about you?  What are the 24 items you would choose?

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


Like this? You might also like:

Emergency Essentials is your source for all things preparedness, from prepackaged foods to water barrels, to first aid kits. 

From the Bargain Bin: Survival is all about learning to fend for yourself. Growing your own food, cooking and building stuff are all essential. Here are some ideas to get you started.

SOG Specialty Knives & Tools M37-N SEAL Pup: This highly rated knife will do it all whether you are an avid hiker, hunter, camper, fisherman or just someone who wants to be prepared for whatever the world will throw at you.

Rothco 550lb. Type III Nylon Paracord: As far as I am concerned, paracord ranks up there with duct tape and zip ties. I wish I had know about this stuff years ago.

Fiskars 7855 8-Inch Hatchet: I think a common mistake is to pick up a cheap hatchet from Harbor Freight and call it a day. This is something you do not want to skimp on. A Fiskars is easily sharpened and will last a lifetime. Oh, and while you are at it, you might also like the Fiskars Axe & Knife Sharpener .

MAGLITE XL50-S3016 LED Flashlight: I own a number of these. Small, sturdy, and easy to handle.

Square Foot Gardening: You do not need a lot of space to grow your own food. Start with some awesome greens and branch out from there. This method works. Seed catalogs will be out next month, why not start your planning now?

Lodge Logic 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet: This purchase changed the way I cook. I se my cast iron cookware for everything from salmon, to bacon and eggs, to biscuits. Don’t forget the Lodge Set of 2 Pan Scrapers, a must have for cleaning those food bits from your cast iron cookware.

Emergency Essentials is your source for all things preparedness, from prepackaged foods to water barrels, to first aid kits.

Aff | Tactical Flashlight

[DEAL] Ultrabright Tactical Flashlight

Never be Vulnerable in the Dark Again

Get This Deal
Aff | Emergency Survival Blanket
[DEAL] Emergency Survival Blanket Get Cheap Security

16 Responses to “24 Days and 24 Foods. What would you choose in an emergency?”

  1. 1) Tuna
    2) Salmon
    3) Chicken
    4) Spam
    5) green beans
    6) carrots
    7) corn
    8) spinach
    9) shrimp
    10) anchovies
    11) tomato
    12) coconut oil
    12) avocado or olive oil
    13) peanut butter
    15) almond butter
    16) macadamia nuts
    17) sunflower seeds
    18) raw, organic cacao powder
    19) honey
    20) tea
    21) salt
    22) bouillon
    23) rice
    24) bread crumbs

    • Your list is good. I would crave fruit of some kind. Canned or dried. Also fresh food for the enzymes. I would store seeds to sprout for that.

  2. As a Christmas present this year, I am giving our three children, each with a child of their own, an emergency two-week package of food, including dehydrated fruits and vegetables, chicken and beef stock, freeze dried meats, everything needed to bake bread, muffins, etc., oatmeal, pasta, dehydrated pasta sauce, honey, coffee, powdered milk, dehydrated eggs, hard candy, rice, beans, and last, but not least, a cookbook for using dehydrated and freeze-dried foods. I am sure they will think it a weird present, but at least they will have it.

  3. I notice no one is including freeze dried whole raw eggs… Why not? Make good pancakes, quick breads, bisquits (and gravy with scrambled eggs for breakfast..mmm). I would include powdered eggs, preferrably freezedried, but dehydrated would work too.

  4. @isurvivalskills: If you are “not ready to kill”. then you won’t make it. People will realize that if you have outdoor resources you have them inside also, and will try to get at it. Foraging is harder than you think-in Iowa in the winter there are few green things to munch on and our largest game is the white-tail deer, turkey being second. Plenty of fish and small game though. Anybody that doesn’t own a .22Long Rifle long-gun and a fishing pole does have a problem in the long run. We’re only talking 24 days here, not 24 years. For 24 days an AR-15 and several hundred rounds will fend off all but the most determined. To bad about you in Chicago & NYC, and other gun-phobic places-your prospects are not at all good.
    @RobNPhx & Chandra: Robin, you left out flour and yeast; Chandra you left out the flour, and peanut butter will supply 90% of daily nutritional needs. Pasta sauce and salsa can be made from canned tomato products, leaving room for another item of choice.
    @ALL: every time you go shopping for groceries, buy 2 or 4 or 4 extra cans of staples and maybe 1 “goodie”. Mark the expiration date in black pen clearly on the container. You’ll be surprised how much you can stockpile in a reasonable amount of time, and how much you save doing it.

  5. I do this on a regular basis as I only go grocery shopping once a month.

    1. dry beans
    2. rice
    3. dehydrated veggies
    4. dried meat/homemade jerky
    5. dry milk
    6. oil
    7. cider vinegar
    8. huge supply of herbs & spices
    9. can tomatoes
    10. can corn
    11. salsa
    12. spaghetti sauce
    13. wheat
    14. oatmeal
    15. other hot cereal
    16. masa harina (for tortillas)
    17. dry fruit
    18. canned fruit
    19. salt
    20. baking soda
    21. sourdough starter
    22. bouillon

    23. nuts
    25. jam

    Interesting exercise. Though I do eat a lotfrom my garden. dried foods are from my garden/pasture or the farmers market.

  6. If you’re gonna stock the pantry for an emergency be realistic and assume the worst…….no power, hence foods that do not require much, if any cooking meaning can be eaten straight from the can. Most of the items in the article are good ….if you have a stove so-o-o you have to assume the worst: no stove will be unable to cook.
    Also, if you REALLY want to get “down and dirty” on what it takes to survive and the materials available to survive after 20 days, read (the book I’m reading now) “When All Hell Breaks Loose.” The author hasn’t just written about it….he’s done it! The pictures he provides are conclusive proof of what’s readily available to survive. I won’t mention what he shows that’s available, that’s the surprise.
    One skill most people forget about or feel is beneath them if they’re aware of it: dumpster dive. I’ve had to do it a few times in order to eat when money was tight and I was hungry. It works!

    • I have also lived this way…for 5 years. Dumpster diving was a regular activity, cooking/laundry/showers etc all done outside. No running water except from the gravity feed shower I built from a 55gal. drum, a shower hose, and some old fence wood I scavenged from an alley. Inside was 50qt. ice chests for cold foods. Toilet was flushed with a 5 gallon bucket of water. Water was hauled in from a friend that had a trailer with a big tank on it. he would come fill our water barrels twice a month. It was rough, but a good clean life. I could do it again in a heartbeat.

  7. I would probably include seeds for sprouting: alfalfa and/or buckwheat and/or clover and/or sunflower, since sprouting seeds really increases their nutritional value and is a source of fresh greens

  8. Its always the same question, what are you going to do when it runs out? Your time, effort and resources would be better spent learning how to procure your own food. Foraging, learning wild edibles and trees, obtaining fish and game with out a gun or fishing pole to etc.

    • Problem with that is – how much game or wild edibles will be left after the hordes kill/trample it all? Best if you know how to grow and put up your own garden and have some chickens or rabbits already going. And really, the time frame for this particular thought experiment is 24 days…that’s easy enough without having to rely on hunting and foraging or even gardening.

    • @Tippy you said “how much game or wild edibles will be left after the hordes kill/trample it all?” With all due respect the chances of that happening are highly unlikely, do you in all honesty think that every single plant, tree and animal in one area could be completely decimated by “Hordes”? Even if it did happen, I would remain mobile and move to the next remote location. Ironically, what do you think would happen when the “Hordes” see your garden, your chickens and your rabbits and decide they want them for themselves? Are you ready to kill or be killed to protect them?

  9. 1. White Rice
    2. Spam
    3. Canned Corn
    4. Canned String Beans
    5. Canned Tuna
    6. Canned Chicken
    7. Chocolate Powder (Ovaltine/Nestle’s, etc.)
    8. Mixed Nuts
    9. Pasta (Spaghetti)
    10. Past Sauce
    11. Mac and cheese
    12. Chicken soup
    13. Peanut Butter
    14. Sugar
    15. Flour
    16. Honey
    17. Oatmeal
    18. Salt
    19. Pepper
    20. Powdered Milk
    21. Instant coffee
    22. Beef Jerky
    23. Olive Oil
    24. Dried Beans

  10. Gaye, this might also be a good time to start thinking about “depression era” cooking recipes. Here is one of my favorites. My mother, now 86 years old still makes some of those meals, like “Fried Macaroni” which is simple: boil the macaroni – use your judgement as to the amount to cook taking into mind how many mouths to feed – until done and while the macaroni is cooking, take leftover bread and dice it. The more bread, the better, especially homemade bread! Fry the bread in a large skillet in Crisco or butter until it browns then add the drained macaroni, with some salt, and stir. Serve it hot out of the skillet. Delicious! Perhaps other readers could share their favorite recipe from these hard times. I would be interested I know.

Leave a Reply